NIGERIA: STILL STRUGGLING FOR INDEPENDENCE

Nigeria

Which will be the first modern, post-colonial Black African country to become independent?
– To stand as a First World country in the midst of global leaders.
– To take the leap from extractive economy to highly productive, manufacturing, innovative and invention-leading economy.
– To develop and run a nation-wide, all-encompassing and unconditional Social Security scheme.
– To become an Export world champion, exporting not just natural resources, but finished products.
– To take its place at the cutting edge of technology and information technology.
– To become a favoured global destination for medical tourism and university education.
– To have a currency that rivals USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CNR.
– To develop and take a leading role in the building of a new economy and new industry around the concept of sustainability. Because that is the future.
– To entrench legally protected civil and human rights.
– To engender independent institutions of democracy.
– To defeat the evil of tribalism.
– To stop begging, taking and being dependent on foreign aid.
– To stop allowing foreign religions to drive it to hate, exploit, oppress or kill its fellow Africans.
– To stop producing economic Refugees in droves.
– To hold regular free and fair elections, free of rigging, where votes count.
– To hold its richest and most powerful accountable.
– To fight corruption impartially, and stand without exemptions under the Law.
– To eradicate extreme poverty, and democratise and ensure education and opportunity for all.
– To work tirelessly for peace and unity on the African continent.
– To push, power and perfect intra-African trade, tourism and transport to the same levels as on other continents and in other world regions.
– To have a modern, disciplined military focused on defense of borders and values, as well as upholding of peace, and not full of megalomaniac dreams of coup d‘etats and executive power all the time.
– To have a depoliticised Police Force that serves the people rather than being used against the people.
– To maintain a hardworking, well-functioning, digitalised, detribalised, highly educated Civil Service.
– To own its own narrative, with its own independent media, on the global stage.
– To become a global lender, instead of a global borrower and beggar.
– To export technology and new technology to the rest of the world.
– To have a power, economic and civil infrastructure that matches every other First World country‘s.
– To become one of the decision makers in the UN, in WEF, in the G8.
– To break the culture of waste, squander and exhibitionism.
– To support and grow small and medium-scale enterprises all over the country.
– To develop a large and economically virile middle class.
– To feed itself independently.
– To power itself independently.
– To ensure electricity 24/7.
– To become a center of future-birthing research and development.
– To become a part of the space community.
– To find its own local solutions to its own local, as well as global, challenges.
– To be a part owner, and controller, of the global market.
– To produce proud citizens who have greater opportunities in their own Black countries than they would in foreign countries where they are never fully accepted.
– To turn around the historical burden of slavery and colonisation, and transform it into global leadership.
– To stand as a First World country in the midst of global leaders.

Which will be the first Black African country to become REALLY INDEPENDENT?

This is the silent question that hangs unanswered in the global imagination of all humankind, and floats inchoate through the heart of everybody of Black African extraction anytime another Black African country celebrates its annual so-called Independence Day.

Today’s it’s Nigeria’s turn. Country of my birth. 1st October.
Happy Independence Day, Nigeria.
Or should I rather say:
Happy Future-Independence Day.

Because only Self-dependence, Self-reliance, is truly Independence.

Che Chidi Chukwumerije

AFRICAN OPPRESSORS

The ironic tragedy about Africa is that foreign oppressors got replaced by African oppressors. An oppressive system needs an oppressor to run it, it is designed to be run by oppressors, and only oppressors can successfully run it.

The colonies were oppressive systems created by foreign interests to exploit the nature, the resources, the people and the dynamics within Africa. To successfully do this, they had to create or midwife or empower an intermediate class of African oppressors to be their remote controlled agents of oppression. In some cases they subjugated and then used already existent mini-powers of local imperialism existent on parts of the continent. Together with the new ones they groomed, using the divide and rule strategy, they created a comprehensive across-board layer and class of all-too-willing African oppressors.

At “independence”, underneath all the chaos that came afterwards, this class of African oppressors remained conscious, self-aware, ruthless and bent on replacing their masters; and eventually the leadership of these oppressive systems cynically called “African countries” were taken over by this class of African oppressors. In situations where a really freedom-minded African managed to be the first post-colonial African leader of these post-colonial entities – like Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana or Patrice Lumumbah in Congo – they were quickly and easily killed or ejected by that same class of African oppressors under the guidance and with the support of the foreign oppressors and imperialists. They secured thereby their agents of neo-colonialism and eventual recolonisation. Even until today, anytime non-oppressive personalities or tendencies seek to manifest in the leadership strata of Africa, this class of African oppressors frustrate them or eliminate them.

This is generally the situation that has reigned in Africa until today. Originally sovereign indigenous African peoples and nationalities were conquered, de-sovereignised, broken up and dispossessed. In their place, new territories of foreign authority were drawn up by the foreign imperialists, with new borders, new laws, new governments, new structures, new raison d’etre, new system of thought and of operation – all geared towards the imperialistic Exploitation of Africa. The education of Africans henceforth also was geared towards the production of the different levels of servants required to fulfil this uncivil servitude. The originally de-sovereignised African states have never again got back their Sovereignty even until today.

After the 2nd World War, when the political wind of change reduced support for a system of “colonialism” and “imperialism”, this was a temporary blow to fascism worldwide and forced a withdrawal from the visible driving seats of their colonial empires. However, the oppression-continuums they created remained in place. And their position was simply taken over by the very class of African oppressors whom they had either midwifed and empowered, or whose formation they had not prevented but had deliberately instrumentalised. And they are still with us today.

That class of African oppressors – and, more importantly, that philosophy of African oppressors – is still with us today, generationally and sequentially reinforcing itself at the helm of affairs in these colonially designed systems of oppression cynically still being called “African” countries today. Neither military rule nor democracy, neither communism-socialism nor capitalism, Islamic nor Christian fervour have changed or eliminated this nefarious class of African oppressors nor can do so by themselves. The problem is in the very soul of this system of thought, it springs from Greed, Avarice and Selfishness. Greed for material wealth and comfort, military power and political authority. The desire to play god.

Only the People themselves, the Masses, can do away with theses classes of African oppressors. Only when the people unite, become adequately conscious, and are resolved, can they destroy and banish this class of African oppressors forever. Thereafter, however, the people will need to go into themselves, into their own hearts and minds, into their own newly emerging systems, and ENSURE that that same philosophy of the erstwhile African Oppressors has not taken root in the masses too and reproduced itself in new emergent systems and nations or in old or presently existent sanitised nations. If we want a break from the past, then we have to change from the ways of the past.

Until we do away with this class of African oppressors and their way of thinking as well as change the very internal structure and logic of these Trojan horses left behind at “Independence”, i.e. until African countries are properly internally restructured – either gradually through the progressive efforts of a succession of non-oppressor leaders, or through radical changes in constitutions – Africa will continue to be the last great bastion of fascism on Earth which it is today.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

NEEDED: QUANTUM LEAP IN OUR LIFETIME

Nigeria IS a Crisis.

It‘s been almost 50 years since the civil war ended; … and today someone was dejectedly complaining of being without electricity for 24 hours straight – and of just feeling as if she was still in the civil war devasted Biafra zone where everything broke down under the onslaught of war. Sitting in the dark. Feeling unsafe. Not knowing when the Danger will manifest. But you know it’s out there, coming at you, waiting for you. Nervous about the present and the future. All you have is just your resolve to survive, and the depressing certainty that the difficulties are far from over. You struggle to find hope. Only the super rich can afford a more or less uninterrupted self-supply of the basic necessities. Normalcy becomes a luxury. But this is not Biafra 1969. This is Nigeria 2019. On the day on which you should celebrate in exhilaration, you just feel miserable as you see the state of your country.

Almost 50 years after the Civil War. From Gowon to Murtala to Obasanjo to Shagari to Buhari to Babangida to Shonekan to Abacha to Abdulsalami back to Obasanjo on to Yar‘adua on to Jonathan … back to Buhari. It‘s like we have just gone round in a vicious circle back to darkness and hopelessness and sadness. On Independence Day, on Nigeria‘s 59th Independence Day – and in fact a full 121 years after street lights were first installed in Nigeria – millions of people in Nigerian towns and Nigerian villages are sitting in darkness in their homes on Independence Day 2019. This is Nigeria‘s sad and shameful report card.

People, we need a QUANTUM LEAP forward. But this is the question: Who will trigger it? Who will chaperone and manage it? Who will deliver and anchor it, and safeguard it and programme it with the software of the internal logic of self-perpetuation, so that it will keep on leaping forward henceforth? The people who created Nigeria did not design it for the people who live in Nigeria today. We were not on their minds. Nigeria was designed to function as a Colony, not as a self-governing Entity. At so-called Independence in 1960, the White leadership of that Colony was simply replaced by Black leadership. But a Colony by nature it remained and still remains until today.

And because Nigeria, at its heart, in its design, in its internal logic, and in its set-up, is still a Colony and is still wired like a Colony, it thus lends itself most easily to be conquered by and to be subservient to imperial leadership, to ANY imperial Leadership. And that is why any tribe or clique or gang or cabal that is versed and experienced in the ways of Imperialism will always find it easy – both in military and in civilian times – to work their way into the center of government and snatch the power and keep it to themselves, and there will be no mechanisms or dynamics or institutions in place to stop them from doing this. Even Democracy by itself will not stop them. Because Nigeria was designed for just this purpose: to be ruled by an Imperialist. The foundational nature of the animal itself, Nigeria, is that it was designed not to be a free King in the jungle, but to be the broken, driven, crazed and manipulated servant of an Imperator. Always remember this. This will explain to you why power, real power, always keeps returning to or remaining with a certain type of people. This is the DNA of Nigeria. Imperialists understand this. Republicans don‘t.

Until this system is broken up, a new kind of nation-being will not break through from our midst. A new kind of leadership will find no space to emerge. A new philosophy of followership will not be able to manifest itself. The united upbuilding will not take place. We all feel the right way things should be done – but the system just keeps on sabotaging every new attempt to correct Nigeria.

How much longer can Nigeria bear the weight of this chain? The World is galloping ahead. And one day the difference between where Nigeria is and where Nigeria should be, will tear Nigeria apart. If it ever comes to that, which would be the worst catastrophe that would have ever hit Africa, then, from the broken parts left behind, Biafra will strive again to rise again out of the darkness into which war once plunged her, rise again, rise up like the Rising Sun.

And I bet you, others will do the same too. Unless Nigeria can make that Quantum Leap, in our lifetime, away from the imperialism-prone colony-at-heart country she still is, and restructure herself into a balanced continuum that liberates her peoples’ internal powers of invention, organisation, self-correction and equal-footed association which can propel her forward. Forward into that future that is about to leave us behind.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

A SPIRIT YOU CANNOT TOUCH

Nigeria bears the stigma of being a foreign Creation. This might not be clear to many Nigerians today. But one day, way into the future when a critical mass of a more mature and self-aware crop of Africans have arisen in that space today called Nigeria, then the contradiction and the insult embedded in the concept of „founding fathers“ will become clear to them. Especially when they ask: so who exactly was the first, the original Founding Father? Lord Lugard?

He created One-Nigeria, as a concept and a constitutional unit, and pieced and put it together. But what other creative forces lurk behind the pieces of what he put together?

Now, ever since 1914 Africans have tried to usurp Lugard‘s creation, to give life to it according to their understanding of what they feel should be the best way that this creation can work for them – each according to his own idea – and to steer the ship of its destiny. In doing so, however, they often disregard – as though it were unimportant – the very REASON why Nigeria was put together. The assumption of some that this reason is now obsolete or only of historical importance is however very fatal, because it prevents them from understanding why Nigeria still functions today the way she functions and will continue to function – driven by her internal foundational dynamics and aided by her European creators and other foreign friends – unless this raison d‘etre, which translated into her very modus operandi – is substituted or outgrown.

In Frederick Lugard‘s famous words:

„What we often call the Northern Protectorate of Nigeria today can be better described as the poor husband whilst it’s southern counterpart can be fairly described as the rich wife or the woman of substance and means. A forced union of marriage between the two will undoubtedly result in peace, prosperity and marital bliss for both husband and wife for many years to come. It is my prayer that that union will last forever”.

This well-known colourful quote, however, although it theatrically spells out the economic raison d‘etre of Nigeria (North, keep your wealth; Southern wealth will be used to finance both them and you), it distracts from another – even more vital – piece of information, and that is: the WAY and MANNER in which this coup was to be maintained. Namely, not the southern system of administration was extended north, but – more tellingly – the northern system was extended south. Much to the chagrin of Southern intellectuals, who did all they could to resist it – in vain. It was thus the British who subjugated the South to the North.

The very philosophy and ideology of Nigerian government, from the start, was based on that which the British Colonial authority had devised in harmony with the Northern traditional structure. Basically: in the North, unlike in the South, the British Colonial Power never took away actual sovereignty from the Northern rulership structure. It allowed them to keep it and then ruled the area indirectly through them, allowing them to act as willing agents to the extent that they the Northerners allowed. This is what we learn in school as having been „indirect rule“ in the North. This is why the Northern Protectorate always had a fiscal deficit and was always broke – because the Northern Emirs resisted the British imposed taxes. It is important to understand this: It was not the NORTH itself that was poor; the North was never poor, even though – yes – greater mineral wealth lies South, it seems. But it was the British-created BRITISH PROTECTORATE OF NORTHERN NIGERIA (i.e. the administrative entity) that was poor, because the subjects (Northern traditional rulers and their merchants) refused to fund it, but rather kept their wealth and taxes to themselves. Thus the needed money for running the Protectorate had to come from somewhere else: namely, from the South.

Now we come to the South. Here, in the South – unlike in the North – the indigenous primordial sovereignty of Southern Rulership was broken as a power base and replaced with direct British rule. Thus, here the Colonial Government had direct access, backed by direct force, to the mineral and labour wealth of the South. Thereafter they handpicked mostly malleable agents as their servants in the execution of this direct rule in and direct plunder of the South; a portion of the spoils was used to run the South, a large part of the loot was sent North, and the rest they kept to themselves and Britain. In other words, whereas they had adjusted to accommodate unmalleable Northern Leaders further inland in the North, they crushed the easily accessible Southern Leaders in the South and largely replaced them with malleable stooges. This caused great unrest and created a permanent internal instability in the South that has remained to this day, whereas it was the opposite in the North: Under the frail cloak of pseudo British colonialism, the primordial indigenous sovereignty of the North not only stayed intact, but retained the self-established form that had over a long time concretised mainly under Fulani dominion in those approximate areas.

When decades later in the aftermath of WW2 the independence struggle grew exponentially and it became clear to the Colonising power that some form of visible withdrawal from the driving seat had become inevitable, the question now was: Within which power dynamic should Nigeria, their creation whose modus operandi they understood best, be situated and then left behind. – In the hands of the unstable, wealthier, South into the Heart of whose authority-structures the departing British would have no reliable link or hold? Or in the hands of the stable reliable North with whom they had built up a working relationship perfected around an understanding and a system of joint subjugation and plunder of the South? It was an easy choice to make. Thus one can say: the British conquered the South on behalf of the North, in order to leave the South in the hands of the North and then share the South with the North. It seems the southern woman of means was never meant to be honourably married at all, but simply to be a free-for-all double-penetrated Geisha.

The lack of unity in, and naïvety of, the South after independence played even further into the hands of the North. The squabblings, the distrust, the well-meant coup, the naive constitutional change. Like inadvertently pushing a tiny splinter of wood deeper into the sole of your foot the more you try to remove it.

The question however might then be: WHY did the British find it hard to conquer the North, but easier in the South? Was it just because of the distance inland from the Atlantic Coast? Partly. But there was another, and more fundamental reason, and it‘s this: The North had ALREADY been conquered and was under a uniform authority. Islam had already conquered the North and held it together via its agent of conquest, primarily the Fulani of the Sokoto Caliphate to the North-East, and partly also the north-westerly Bornu Caliphate. It was at its core thus an Islamic resistance of Christianity that took place in Northern Nigeria, in continuation of the thousand year old battle for global supremacy between these two foreign religions. The North had a long memory of Islamic martial wisdom to draw from in their intelligent cohesive strategy behind their resistance to and manipulation of the British.

What this also means, is, the Independence that was achieved decades later in 1960 was simply the attainment of a partial independence from the Christian West, but a remaining subject to the Islamic East. Indeed: Independence from the Islamic East is yet to come to Africa generally.

But, back to Southern Nigeria. One common Religion – this overarching glue – was missing in the South, whose additional proximity to the Coast as well as possession of stupendous mineral wealth, made its conquest by the British almost inevitable. Indeed and ironically it was now British Colonialism that gave to the South, via Christianity and wide-spread western education, a semblance of the bond which the North – in the form of Islam and Arab-Islamic schooling – already long had. The difference being that in the North this religion-based bond was and is also entrenched in a traditional system of government which survived western colonialism. The South has only the religion, but not the uniformity of traditional authority. Nevertheless, this shared Christianity – especially in the South-East/South-South – even without political authority, still provides a sufficient bulwark of resistance against the imperious Islamisation attempt of the Fulani in this last region of true resistance in Nigeria. This is the Spirit of Biafra. Fuelled by primordial indigenous indignation. Again what we are seeing here – parallel to the meaningless ethnic scuffle and jostle for power – is the over-arching continuation of the millennium-old battle for global supremacy between Judeo-Christianity on one hand and Islam on the other. Situated within the theater of unfortunate and meaningless African inter-tribal conflicts. The Fulanis are experiencing in Biafra Land the same stubborn resistance that the British experienced in Arewa Land over a hundred years ago. Africans never really surrender. They survive and thrive. Islam is experiencing in Biafra Land the same resistance that Christianity experienced during the crusades against the Moslems. A refusal to be conquered and converted by cunning or by force. The Crusades are reversed in Nigeria today.

Nigeria bears the stigma of being a foreign creation – in so many ways. Much more complex than the few contexts touched upon in this write-up can throw up. The socio-political salvation for the Africans in this region of the continent lies in two things that might seem contradictory, but which are only two complimentary sides of the same golden coin. One: to re-identity with their own original African indigenous ethnic nationalities and consciousness, free from all the brain-wash of foreign religions and an acquired Nigerian identity. Two (and even more importantly): to NOT let these actual African ethnic identities participate in Tribalism against each other. That is: Be your true self and then unite with each other as your true selves. Say yes to Africa. Yes to Intertribal Love. No to tribal hatred and Tribalism.

Tribalism is the death of Africa. Not the Tribalism of love of one‘s ethnic group, but the Tribalism of hating, or feeling superior to, or not wanting the progress of other ethnic groups. It‘s just the greatest Smallness on earth today. If Africans – educated and non-educated – can really conquer Tribalism in their hearts, no foreign-come religions or colonially manufactured identities would be powerful enough to divide them and make them fight against each other. The day Panafricanism is based on pan-tribal-unity, and not on shifty talks in the amorphous halls of the AU, from that day Africa will start to progress.

The day the internal workings of Nigeria become based on inter-ethnic love and Cooperation – free of attempts at ethnic or religious conquest – and based on Inter-tribal Cooperation, accommodation, respect, love and unity, that is the day Nigeria will start to progress. Until then, BIAFRA will continue to live – more than a call for a state, more than a resistance movement; above all, an undying dream of freedom, indigenous development and sovereign identity. Biafra is the code word for Survival. Indigenous Survival. Black Survival. And it is anchored deep in the hearts of millions and millions of Africans. Survival.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.
www.facebook.com/686560623/posts/10162562156620624

NIGERIA: SERVING TWO MASTERS

Nigeria, by and large, was conquered and colonised TWICE – by Islamic Arabic Imperialism and by Judeo-Christian Western Imperialism.

But when Nigeria fought for Independence, it only fought for Independence against Western Imperialism and not against Arab Imperialism.
That is why the soul of Nigeria has divided loyalties today. Many Nigerians who consider themselves free and independent today are only independent (partly) from Western Imperialism, and not from Arabian Imperialism which – like the green snake in the green grass – is deeper, stealthier and more inchoate and not bound into a concrete, easily dismantable State-form.
While Nigeria battled back right from independence with the consequences of this subtle lack-of-freedom, Western imperialism quietly returned in the form of neo-colonialism.
Until Nigeria – and indeed Black Africa – is politically, economically and ideologically free of both the WEST AND the EAST (Middle & Far East), it will never be able to develop. It will always remain a puppet on a string and a pawn in a game being played by others.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

DO AFRICANS BELIEVE THAT AFRICANS CAN INVENT?

We have to make our own world, because there is little space for us in the world others have created, out of their own ingenuity, for themselves.

So what we need is to create in Africa an African system that supports research and invention from Dream to Done Deed. What we need is to awaken the strong sense of the need to create our own world, a new world. A desire, the unquenchable thirst and unslackening desire to do this or perish. It becomes our racial focus, and the essence of the DNA we pass on, henceforth, from Generation to Generation. Our black spirits will come ready-made with the natural Urge to do this. We will be born differently from today. Born to invent.

But…: Do Africans believe that Africans can invent? Do Africans who feel the spirit of invention and innovation stirring within them have the guts to sacrifice their whole life to it? Are there financiers and patrons ready to support them to the bitter or sweet end?

If all you do is extract natural resources and minerals from the earth and the waters, and sell them unprocessed to others, then you are just a glorified miner. Now, today, as oil revenues dwindle, the call is sounded. Any mathematician can do the arithmetics and work backwards from the finish line. It is the point in time when our oil becomes worthless and our ability to invent and innovate becomes the only natural resource we have left. Untapped?

Yes I made the the jump from oil to inventions; whereby the popular wisdom proclaims that the alternative to oil bears another name: Diversification. But… Diversification Alone Is Not The Answer! It is only an interim puffer, but not the guarantor of survival. Only the fit survive. The fit are those who have trained the power and ability to create the future.

But…: Are African governments, think tanks, traditional institutions and financial institutes really ready to chart and push this course and pour all their resources into creating a new world, their own future? Do Africans believe that Africans can invent?

If we simply diversify from Oil to Solid Minerals, we will make the same mistakes again because not only are the underlying methodologies unaddressed and unchanged; nor the corruption issues in terms of persons, institutions and systems unammended; but, most importantly, the fundamentally flawed ideology that drives and guides our concept of nation-building, people-building, capacity-building – whatever you want to call it – remains the most entrenched and in-built weakness that we carry with us from generation to generation, from century to century. It is an ideology that supports a taker-mentality as opposed to a giver-mentality; it remains a receiver-mentality as against a creator-mentality; it stays a past-deifying and present-indulging mentality instead of a future-engineering one.

But it is better to produce the future than to reproduce the past. What our so-called education so far has not done for us is trigger the creator-gene. Systemically, deeply and deliberately. En Masse. The discoverer-Complex has yet to be activated within the context of African Culture, Upbringing, Orientation, Foundational Thinking that later guides investors, policy-makers, entrepreneurs and every citizen. We are talking about the Survival of the Species here.

The human being, in the end, respects only intelligence. Not just articulated intelligence, but intelligence that has yielded action and tangible form. The human species‘ only hope for survival and expansion, right from time, and for escaping extinction, has always been innovation and invention, i.e. the practical application of intuitive perception and intelligence. Thus, humans finally only respect those persons and groups whose ingenuity or depth of perception leads to discoveries and inventions that continue to move humankind forward. The urge to move, physically, mentally and spiritually, and to defend gained territories, is a deep evolutionary expression of primal survival instinct.

Therefore: Africans had better start believing that Africans can invent and that Africans SHOULD invent. And start pouring all their resources into making this a reality. Otherwise, the future which is being currently invented and designed by Non-Africans, for Non-Africans, will have no place in it for Africa and Africans. Or the place that will be reserved for us, we will not like it, nor possess the power and ability to change it. It will be worse that the days of Slavery and Colonisation. It will be a depth of systemic powerlessness and denigration not yet seen in the history of humankind. Because, if you don‘t make anything, you‘ll never own a thing.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije